Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Just wanted to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!  I made my very first turkey this year; turned out pretty well.  K. made his first ever pie, a pumpkin pie, Mom made stuffing and gravy, and I made mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a salad.  We stuffed ourselves early and went on a long walk from the beach back to our place with the dogs before dessert.  Recipes to follow (mostly so I remember what to do next year)
Arugula salad with roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts, cranberry and a warm cider vinaigrette
Sourdough stuffing with sausage, granny smith apples, cranberries and herbs
Orange cranberry sauce with toasted walnuts, Grand Marnier and golden raisins
Garlic mashed potatoes in the way back and gravy in the middle
Thanskgiving Turkey Recipe:
  • Remove neck and gizzards and wash turkey thoroughly.  Brine for 24 hours in a solution of 6 quarts of water, 3/4 cup of salt,  1/3 cup of sugar, 6 bay leaves, bunches of rosemary, thyme, sage, 1 head of garlic cut horizontally, 1 onion, a few slices of ginger
  • Night before roasting the turkey, combine two sticks of room temperature butter (must be really soft to be easily spreadable), with 1/4-1/3 cup of chopped rosemary, sage and thyme leaves, salt and pepper.  Remove turkey from brine, dry the turkey, and push 1/2-2/3 of the butter mixture under the skin, a bit in the cavity and the remainder on top of the skin.  Salt and pepper the turkey generously.  Truss the turkey according to Tyler Florence.  Let sit in the refrigerator overnight uncovered
  • Thanksgiving Day: Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  On the bottom of a roasting rack, place 1 chopped onion, smashed head of garlic, carrots, celery, and a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary, cover with turkey stock, 1 cup of white wine, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar.  Stuff the turkey cavity with quartered lemons and oranges.  Melt 1 stick of butter in a pot on a stove.  Let cool a little, and soak cheescloth to put on top of the bird (folded in quarters, to fully cover the turkey lengthwise, and widthwise to cover the tips of the wings and drumsticks).  Cook at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees, setting the timer for half hour increments.  Baste the turkey every half hour.  Remove the cheesecloth when there is about an hour to go.  If anything gets too brown, particularly the wings and tip of the drumsticks, cover with foil.  Turkey is done when the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees.  For our 11.25 lb turkey, it took about 3.5 hours total.  Tent and let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.  I saved the pan juices and made more gravy for leftovers the next day by refrigerating it, spooning off all the fat except for a TB or two which I whisked with 3 TB of flour over low heat for 5 minutes to make roux, then added the pan juices and 4 cups of chicken stock and boiling for 5 minutes, seasoning to taste.  You can never have too much gravy!
Thanskgiving Gravy Recipe from Tyler Florence
  • A really good recipe that had a very pronounced turkey flavor since you were basically making turkey stock.  Good to make the day before.
Orange Cranberry Sauce with Walnuts and Raisins
  • Put 1 lb of frozen cranberries in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Zest and juice 1 orange and add 1 cinnamon stick, sprinkle of nutmeg and 1/4 cup of sugar (to taste, my frozen cranberries were already sweetened).  Let the dish simmer for 10 minutes, then add 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier, handful of dried cranberries, golden raisins and toasted walnuts and cook for another 5-10 minutes stirring constantly.  Let cool to room temperature.  Can be made the day before. Makes for really good "jam" for leftover turkey sandwiches.
Sourdough Bread Stuffing with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberries from Ina Garten

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Peel and dice 5 russet potatoes and mince 5 cloves of garlic.  Place in stock pot, cover with 3 cups of chicken stock (I had leftovers), 4 cups of water, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 of the garlic and 1 tsp of salt.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for ~20 minutes, until the potatoes are really fork tender, drain and put back in the pot
  • Heat up 1 cup of half and half, 2 TB of butter and the remainder of the garlic
  • Mash the potatoes in a pot with my new potato masher, and gradually stir in the sauce mixture, a little at a time.  I didn't use all of the mixture.  Add a couple spoons of room temperature light cream cheese, salt, white pepper, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Arugula salad with roasted butternut squash, toasted walnuts, cranberries in a cider vinaigrette adapted from Ina Garten's recipe:
  • Only changes: I used more arugula, a lot less olive oil, and only about 1/2 of the dressing.  Also, I had to roast the squash for longer since it was cooking in the same oven as the turkey at 350 degrees
Wine review: we started with a bottle of the 2006 Copain Pinot Noir from the Kiser En Bas vineyard and another bottle from the same vintage, a 2006 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir from the Koplen vineyard.  Both went well with a food, matching it without overpowering it.  The Copain was a little more tart and acidic than the Kosta Browne.  While acidic, it was rather subtle on the nose and the finish.  The Kosta Browne had a much bigger nose and generally bigger and sweeter taste, a lovely Pinot soft but enveloping mouthfeel, and slightly sweet finish.  Everyone preferred the Kosta Browne to the Copain; it can always be counted on as a crowd pleaser.  For dessert, we heated up some pear cinnamon cider from Trader Joes and mixed it with some bourbon and served it warm.  It was delicious, I could drink a lot of this, which could be dangerous.  For me, a bourbon / brown liquor novice, the sweetness of the cider was a nice way to balance the strong bourbon.
2006 Copain Kiser En Bas Pinot Noir and 2006 Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Pinot Noir
K's delicious pumpkin pie (served with vanilla frozen yogurt)
Sun starting to set over Santa Monica
Empty Montana Avenue at dusk

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...